The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (9 June) urged the Welsh Government to review what more they can do to support Wales’ arts sector. Her call comes as Welsh theatres warn that they need more funding support to survive. Representatives of the sector say that the COVID-19 pandemic has left them with little prospect of reopening in a financially viable fashion in the months ahead.
In North Wales, where Venue Cymru has been converted into a temporary hospital, it is thought that disruption to the local arts scene could last well beyond the current period. The cancellation of the Eisteddfodau and Conwy Classical Music Festival has also left several local freelance musicians out of work. They report concerns over an abject lack of performance opportunities, due to the widespread cancellation of shows, weddings and cruises.
Speaking of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, Janet said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted severe damage on Wales’ arts sector, placing our theatres at serious risk of closure and leaving many talented individuals out of work.
“Creativity and the arts are important pillars for education and the promotion of well-being. They remain central to the North Wales economy, playing a significant role in promoting tourism to our beautiful region.
“The arts are also fundamental to the protection of Welsh language culture. We have a responsibility to share our heritage and identity, ensuring that our language survives to serve a new generation of young people.
“I urge the Welsh Government to review what proper and long-term support it can offer this complex sector. COVID-19 cannot be the final curtain call for these vital Welsh employers.”
Picture: By Kyle Head, UnSplash.